Core Algorithm, Google’s Biggest Update in 2023

Google has recently updated it Core Algorithm, it can impact search rankings, making it crucial for SEOs and website owners to stay informed and adapt strategies. The update launched on March 15 and completed rollout on March 28, 2023. It targeted all content types within all regions and languages, promoting and rewarding high-quality and high-value web pages. Google’s March 2023 broad core update is set to prioritize the ranking of pages that provide more value compared to those currently ranking on Google. This update may lead to a significant reshuffling of SERP rankings.

Google makes significant changes several times in a year. We refer to these as core updates, and we give notice when they happen on Google search ranking updates. Core updates are designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present helpful and reliable results for searchers.

How core updates work

There’s nothing wrong with pages that may not be performing as well as they were before a core update. They haven’t violated Google spam policies, nor been subjected to a manual or algorithmic action, as can happen to pages that do violate those policies. In fact, there’s nothing in a core update that targets specific pages or sites. Instead, the changes are about improving how our systems assess content overall. These changes may cause some pages that were previously under-rewarded to do better in search results.

One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2021. A few years later in 2024, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.

Assess your own content

As explained, pages that experience a change after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix. That said, we understand that those who may not be performing as well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something.

We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward. It has questions that you can ask yourself when assessing your own content

Also consider an audit of the drops you may have experienced. What pages were most impacted and for what types of searches? Look closely at these to understand how these pages may perform against the self-assessment questions. For example, there may be other pages that are doing a better job of helping the searcher because they have first-hand knowledge on that topic. You might also have others you trust provide an honest assessment.

Recover from a core update

Broad core updates tend to happen every few months. Content that was impacted in Search or Discover by one might not recover, assuming improvements have been made, until the next broad core update is released.

However, we’re constantly making updates to our search algorithms, including smaller core updates. We don’t announce all of these because they’re generally not widely noticeable. Still, when released, they can cause content to recover if improvements warrant.

Do keep in mind that improvements made by site owners aren’t a guarantee of recovery, nor do pages have any static or guaranteed position in our search results. If there’s more deserving content, that will continue to rank well with our systems.

Posted by Hameed Arshad

Thinking of hiring a marketing agency

Sometime we think bigger is better and we tend to prefer the big traditional agencies over the smaller boutique ones. It’s true that they have all the recognition, formidable track records, shiny awards, certificates and so on, but the question is, are big agencies really better?

While choosing an agency, big or boutique, there are certain questions that we must ask ourselves. Why do we need agencies in the first place? How do they help us? What are the fundamental differences between a big and a boutique agency? How do these differences affect us, or our campaign?

Let’s review some concerns so that we make an informed decision, without going through this laborious thought process. Instead, you can focus on what you want from your campaign. Primarily, we hire agencies to help us with the creative, innovative, strategic, communicative, and technical aspects of a campaign. In short, agencies do all the running around needed to run a successful campaign.

In this way, they share your burdens, allowing you to focus on the next great thing in your business.

Obviously, the agency at work must have a profound understanding of the business they are working with. After all, a campaign doesn’t only promote a product. But, also the brand. The business that strives to bring this product to the people and thrives upon their positive response.

It is only in doing justice to the essence of your business, that an agency can run a successful campaign. In other words, it must always strike the right chords and hit the right notes. Agency must have a fluent communication, both with the business, and the potential clientele, the target audience of the campaign.

So, now that we know what they “must” do, we can discuss how they do it. But, before that, let us try and characterise the two for what they are.

Note that big agencies are those which have hundreds of employees working for them. At any point in time, they are simultaneously working on four, seven, ten, who knows how many projects. The more, the merrier!  Usually, these agencies offer a wide, yet fixed, range of services. Their “best selling” products, smartly catalogued in expensive-looking brochures. Indeed, whatever shows, also sells.

Now how about the small agencies, the term boutique means unique, and it is uniqueness that they thrive upon. After all, if you are not big, you must be unique.

More often than not, they work with small, yet dedicated teams of innovative designers, managers and others. Being closely knit, imparts a dynamic nature to these agencies, as the employees constantly interact with each other.

If there’s one thing that all good boutique agencies have, it’s subtlety. Subtlety in design, in style, in approach and, basically, in everything they do.

Until this point, we have seen what agencies must ideally be, and what the two major types of agencies usually are. Now, it’s time we saw how their differences affect our purpose.

We can go about a point-to-point differentiation of the two types of agencies. Yet, it isn’t arguably as fruitful as a thematic differentiation. After all, it’s upon these thematic differences that we must base our choice.

If you remember the ideal conditions, an agency must work in close communication with your business. In this regard, boutique agencies are often more accessible than the big ones.

Certainly enough, a big agency assigns a relationship manager or a project coordinator for your campaign. Yet, as we know well, the same person is also working on other projects at the same time. Thus, the commitment is more professional than personal. And, this is both good and bad.

Good from a service perspective. But, successful campaigns often require the personal touch which big agencies fail to provide. And, we can’t really blame them for that.

Working with a boutique agency, often allows us to communicate with the entire team, and not with a single point of contact. Such holistic discussions often widen the scopes and open up unprecedented avenues for your campaign.

Working with a big agency inevitably involves strict formalities and policies. Consequently, you’ll have to invest a lot of time, even before the campaign actually begins.

Moreover, these policies often aren’t bendable in the slightest to suit your needs. Boutique agencies bring a major relief in this regard.

While big agencies often tend to be the jacks of all trades, the boutique ones have their specialised niche. The former might be good or even great at everything they do. But, the latter is the best at what it does.

Needless to say, the overall costs of running a campaign with a boutique agency is much lesser than with a big one. The benefits are more than obvious.

Irrespective of whether your project is big or small, it’s always the top priority for a boutique agency. This might not be the case with the big ones. After all, they will obviously prioritise projects that are bigger, and more profitable, than yours’. So, to conclude, it’s more than safe to say that unless you have a resource-intensive campaign which only a large agency can support, it’s often more beneficial to go with a boutique agency.

Posted by Hameed Arshad

Starting up new business requires solid planning

Starting your own business requires careful planning, research and preparation. UK Government provides all required info on its website, one can easily find information on how to set up and register a company, what steps that you will need to take to turn your ideas into a business. Just to summarise in bullet points;

1. Let HMRC know you’re becoming self-employed.
2. Decide on the best legal structure for your business.
3. Choose a business name to represent yourself.
4. Set-up a business bank account.
5. Get compliant as different types of business have some pre-requisites.
6. Start book keeping for everything or hire an accountant.
7. Sort out your work space, working from office or home.
8. Sort out insurance cover, workplace, equipment, indemnity.
9. Do some advertise and marketing to acquire business.

To elaborate on some points:
What you need to do to set up depends upon the type of business, where you work and whether you take people on to help. Most businesses register as a sole trader, limited company or partnership. It’s simpler to set up as a sole trader, but you’re personally responsible for your business’s debts. You also have some accounting responsibilities.

If you form a limited company, its finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more reporting and management responsibilities. A partnership is the simplest way for 2 or more people to run a business together. You share responsibility for your business’s debts. You also have accounting responsibilities.

If you rent or buy a property, you may have to pay business rates. Small businesses can apply for a discount on business rates and some may pay nothing. Check if you can claim office, property and equipment as expenses.

If you take on agency workers or freelancers you have some responsibilities, for example their health and safety. There are things you’ll need to do if you take on your own employees. You’ll have more responsibilities, including:
1. Running payroll
2. Paying for their National Insurance
3. Providing workplace pensions to eligible staff
4. Taking care of their health and safety.

Posted by Arshad Hameed

Making Tax Digital mandatory for VAT Returns

HMRC has published lots of information related to upcoming mandatory digital tax filing policy. A new HMRC VAT Notice says if you run a VAT-registered business with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold you are required to keep digital VAT business records and send returns using Making Tax Digital compatible software.

The MTD pilot for VAT started in back April 2018 and is now open to VAT businesses and their agents mandated to use the service from April 2019. Joining the pilot now will help you prepare for these changes sooner and your feedback will also help to shape the service as it continues to develop.

If you have an agent, you should speak to them to find out when it may be best for you to join the pilot. It’s important that you have the appropriate software package, so if you already use accounting or record keeping software you should also speak to your software provider to find out when it will be updated for MTD.

The vast majority of businesses will need to do this for VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2019 if your turnover exceeds £85,000. Businesses with a taxable turnover below the VAT threshold can also sign up for MTD for VAT voluntarily.

Making Tax Digital is an HMRC initiative that will revolutionise the UK tax system and ultimately bring an end to self-assessment. This new digital tax system will require the majority of business owners to maintain digital records using compatible software. Digital Brainchild can assist businesses to acquire compatible software product or set of software products that would support the MTD obligations of keeping digital records and exchanging data digitally with HMRC through the software.

Posted by Arshad Hameed

Social Media trends dominating in 2021

After conducting some research, I feel following  two social media trends will dominate in year 2021

Stronger connection between Brands and Consumers

The links between brands and consumers have never been so closer before, customers love sharing personal accomplishments on social media, but they also enjoy getting responses. Brands have realised the impact of social media and creating lasting relationships instead of just treating social as a platform to advertise their products. It’s absolutely essential to keep your followers happy by providing a network where they can reach you and that trend will rise in 2021.
More demand of Social Listening tools
Social listening tools allow brands to analyse and reflect on their audiences actions, plus, businesses can track overall brand health, create marketing campaigns and ultimately improve customer experiences. In year 2019, following treads will dominate

  • You have to track brand health through sentiment analysis. This helps you actively pay attention to what users say.
  • Truly engaging content is what makes any social strategy strive. So why not use listening tools to see what’s the best content to share.
  • You can identify topics of importance without the guesswork by tracking hash tags, topics or keywords people use with your brand.
  • If your social marketing campaigns are not in good mood, it’s time to seek out opportunities with the help of social listening. These features allow brands to find trends faster so they can get the most from topics or user-generated content.
  • The use of social listening tools is one trend that could push your brand in the right direction.
Posted by Arshad Hameed